Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, My Past, Myself

Family

The sudden quiet of the morning for once doesn’t feel soothing. Like a dull ache comes the realization I am home, far away from my family where I go to spend 10 glorious days gorging myself not just on pizza, but on love, laughter and memories. I truly cannot answer what took me so long to get back there. What could have been more important than creating such amazing memories? Work? Money? General busyness?  These past ten days I have laughed more, eaten more and been loved more than the entire year. And again I ask myself. Why? Why did it take so long to get back to this?

I got to spend time with my uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, old friends and all because I managed to say yes for once and got out of the way. Coming to this dull quiet, it hits me that with the loss of my dad and aunt, there are so many ways to keep their memories going that do not involve grief. Its sharing old stories, laughing at old jokes, and missteps and most of all, around 30 of us sitting in one room just sharing. It’s teasing each other, enjoying meals together, and it’s creating reasons to keep coming back to spend time with us.

I cannot help but count my blessings for the family that I have. I truly wish those close to me got to experience the kind, generous and giving family I come from. Sure, from the outside, it could be said we came for a 16th and 50th birthday party but truly we came to be together, to reconnect, to remind ourselves that with loss there are also gains. This trip became that reminder for me.

Happy Tuesday!

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, My Past, Myself

Time Passes But Hurt Doesn’t

Another anniversary, another reminder of time passing, yet feels like no time at all.  Keep busy. Look down. Keep going. One task to another. Be in service to others. Remember him as the man he truly was not what I wished him to be. See him as a truly loving man who didn’t shy away from saying I love you. Heart full, head heavy. Yet images of him smiling always come to mind. Hard to imagine her pain, waking up to a day like this. Words and emotions flying inside me, but I dare not release them onto others. This is my suffering, to do alone, to serve as penance for not utilizing my time with him well.

But then I remember how much good and fun we did manage to have. Through the arguments, his unwavering support even when he doubted my crazy ideas about Desi music and Ziba, cemented our friendship. Yes, I could say I was friends with Papa.  Yet, the hurt stays, the pain never really gone, just a dull thud, but also the realization that I am the man I am thanks to him. His actions became my opportunities to learn. His mistakes, my pain to overcome and become better.

It’s tempting to build him up, erase the tension and the disagreements, the regret of not following his instructions. The day comes but he’s lasted for years and will for as long as I am here, and hopefully after. I Love you, Papa

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, My Past, Myself

30 Years

Last week, I got an invite to join a private Facebook Group that included the Class of 1990 from David Starr Jordan High. I couldn’t believe that my 30 year high school reunion was coming around. And then as I saw the cascade of pictures and reconnected with some of the Panther alumni, I realized how different I am from the Sanjay that went to that school. I have so much to be grateful for from there, but it took decades for me to grow up and own my voice and image. Yet, it was there that I learned about my passion about writing, and I truly believe it was my teachers and students in my writing class that put me on the path towards UCLA and then law school after that.

I got to talking to an old friend from there, and I realize that out of my core group in high school, I am still in touch with one one of them. I wondered what happened to the others, and then I got a chance to reminisce with one of them, and it felt wonderful. So much life has happened, so many things changed, but the warm feelings haven’t. I look forward to reconnecting with those who I have not spoken to in Decades, and also wonder about the ones who I have no heard or seen from since graduation. So much life, so many years, yet without the foundation of my experience, I would not be where I am.

And for that, I am truly grateful. Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Myself, Random

Rigor and Accountability

Recently, a dear friend asked me my secret to my “rigor” i.e. my commitment to my vision to the various areas of my life. For a while, I didn’t know how to answer that question because to be quite honest, most days I feel like I am playing catch up. It’s easy to disregard the tasks that got done and compare myself to my large declarations for the year. I forget that to eat a whole pie, one has to start with the first diet (oh yeah, I love food).

Each morning, I wake up to a choice. stay put or move forward. There are days I go back to bed, but more often than not, I get up and begin my morning ritual of morning pages, meditation, morning reading, dog walking and sometimes the gym. I do it not out of obligation but the fervent belief in my vision: to be the best version of myself in all areas of my life.  I really sat with that. It wasn’t a wish or a desire. Well, it could be if I did nothing to make my vision come true. You see, vision doesn’t have to be specific, but it takes specific action to realize your vision.  To that end, I now have an accountability group that cares not only about my vision, but is more than willing to call me up when I am not feeling 100%.  I also use a planner, a time for tasks, google sheets to keep abreast on pending tasks and goal. I use many tools to ensure I am on task.

The past few weeks have not been easy as good friends are dealing with personal losses, and I wish I could do more to be in service to them. It’s tempting to lose focus, and allow the day to happen. And I admit there is time like that, but when I take time to reflect, to remember my reasons for being, I can do much for others when my heart is full.  There will be always be a crisis going on. Always a loss. Always something that pulls you toward an issue not of your making, and it’s remembering time and time again that if I am not fulfilled, if I am not committed to my vision, I will not be the best person for those tough situations.

So I train each day. I get up. I focus. I make declarations, and hope that I get to all of them. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Rigor isn’t about getting shit done, but it’s about checking in what it is that I want my life to be. It’s about knowing that I never gave up on myself. That I get to be my word to myself first because if I am not in integrity to myself, how can I believe i can be of service to others? So I get up. Kick ass. Then repeat.

Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Myself, Random

Integrity is Cheap

Monday mornings. A time I cherish. A time to reset, to consider, to take a hard look at my declarations. To drill down to what worked, what didn’t and what was in the gap. To review my various Google sheets and ask if I am in line with my vision. Some Mondays are not pretty. I see task after task and other idealistic declarations untouched week after week. And I realize that it’s easy to state things without a plan, or a real buy in. Easy to say I will become a published writer, or grow my business but then not have a deadline or a specific task to make it happen.

I find it’s easy to lie to myself. To make excuses, or justify that I am doing well in other areas. Easy to give myself a break, to let myself off the hook, to not be in integrity with myself or my vision.

Vision. That word keeps coming up in my life more and more. As I get closer to the big 5-0, I am motivated to complete some long standing dreams. To do a pull up. To run a Marathon. To be a published author. To be a successful law practice. To travel the world with my wife. To keep deep connections with family and friends. To be in service. To try new things. And yet, some things come easy, and others I just putting up over and over again.

So integrity to myself has become cheap. I cover it up with other actions, and stories that I am doing all that I can when I know there is so much time I waste on things and people who don’t serve me. I realize now that Integrity is a practice, and not a goal. It’s something I get to engage in daily and consistently, and there will be days I will not be honest to myself, and the best thing I can do is acknowledge it and then dig deeper on why that is. More times that not, it’s because of fear, or self-worth, or another failure. All fear-based emotions. And I get to work on that.

Integrity to myself requires constant work. And you know what? That’s okay. Because it’s about vision over circumstance. Being comfortable being uncomfortable. A choice: Give in, Give up or Push Forward.

Happy Monday

Family, Myself

Happy Birthday Papa

It’s strange to be in his house and not hear his voice or silliness fill the space around us. I also know that spending the day in sadness is not something he would stand for so I will focus instead on celebrating how he lived his life: full of joy, energy and silliness.

I admit it’s not always easy to pretend that it doesn’t hurt that he isn’t here, but spending every moment bemoaning that fact not only dishonors his memory, it neglects the fact that he lived a full life.

The past few days have been hard for me as I stayed home in bed due to the flu, and I just felt him everywhere. Yet it’s also been a great reminder of how much of a legacy he left. So today I celebrate as best I can, and remind myself that I was blessed for how long I had him in my life for, and I get accept it in gratitude.

Happy Birthday, Papa. Sanjay Misses You.